"Any time would be a good time for The Miracle Worker, but these wintry evenings when audiences are looking for heart-warmers seems a very good time. Director Linda Dunn and her large cast of well-chosen actors build the drama to an emotional peak..."
"Director Linda Dunn skillfully directs her cast of twelve (including some adorable children) in a well-paced natural clip. The flow is seamless. And there are no weak performances."
" 'The Miracle Worker' is a piece of historical importance not just for its place in the theatrical canon. It reminds us of the significant and enduring effect that faith and determination can have not only on the life of one person, but on generations to come. RVP does a wonderful job delivering that message."
"Great directing by Linda Dunn breathes realism, warmth and fresh drama into this amazing story that deserves to be told over and over ....." "An absolutely stunning performance by unassuming upstart Samantha Martin brings smiles to the lips, tears to the eyes and the house to its feet at the closing curtain."
...inspirational miracle within a miracle...Great directing by Linda Dunn breathes realism, warmth and fresh drama into this amazing story that deserves to be told over and over...
Member, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
THE MIRACLE WORKER
Reviewed by Jeff Smith of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
No amount of foresight or foreshadowing can adequately prepare an audience for, emotionally insulate an audience from, or psychologically brace an audience for, the heartwarming conclusion of William Gibson’s THE MIRACLE WORKER as performed by the Ross Valley Players.
Bring a hankie, a Kleenex, a sponge or a squeegee.
Throughout the play, the cast iron, hand water pump—critically instrumental to the denouement—is clearly visible, nearly center stage, forewarning you, indeed urging you to brace yourself, for the miraculous conclusion which essentially marks the real beginning of Helen Keller’s incredible life.
Great directing by Linda Dunn breathes realism, warmth and fresh drama into this amazing story that deserves to be told over and over on stage, screen and television.
An absolutely stunning performance by the unassuming upstart: Samantha Martin, bring smiles to the lips, tears to the eyes and the house to its feet at the closing curtain.
Samantha, as Helen Keller, is obviously limited in her avenues of communicating with the audience: speaking, given Helen’s handicaps, is clearly not an option, and both physical and facial animations are also curtailed by her character.
None-the-less, Samantha communicates volumes to the audience regarding the dark, silent prison within which Helen is tragically sequestered almost from her birth.
With the help of Anne Sullivan—played by Megan Pryor Lorentz, with all the emotional richness, dogged perseverance and dark troubled complexity that her character deserves—Annie is transported from a life of benign neglect, low expectation and feral savagery to the richness of an inquisitive young girl urgent to discover life and the world.
Tom Reilly is nothing short of aristocratic, as the dapper Captain Keller: Helen’s doting, misguided, yet well meaning father.
Lauren Doucette is wonderful as Kate Keller: a mother who must repeatedly wrestle, and subdue her own heart, for the sake of Helen’s progress.
Although the play is biographical and rooted in the disturbing realities of both Helen’s and Anne’s challenging lives, there is a wisp of comedy provided by the effete James Keller—artfully played by the itinerant Brook Robinson.
If you, like this crusty reviewer, mistakenly assume you know all you need to know about the commensalism of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller, then you are woefully mistaken.
For tickets to this inspirational miracle within a miracle, contact the Ross Valley Players at www.rossvalleyplayers.com or call 415-456-9555 when you are NOT driving, operating heavy equipment or sitting in an audience.